Gerrymandering in Virginia…
The Supreme Court dismissed the challenge to a lower court’s findings that some of Virginia’s legislative districts were racially gerrymandered, saying Monday that House Republicans did not have legal standing to challenge the decision.
The decision could give an advantage to the state’s Democrats. All 140 seats in the legislature are on the ballot this fall, and the GOP holds two-seat majorities in both the House (51 to 49) and the Senate (21 to 19).
Democrats have been hoping that a wave of successes in recent Virginia elections will propel them to control of the legislature for the first time since 1995.
The party that controls the General Assembly in 2021 will oversee the next statewide redistricting effort, following next year’s census — potentially cementing an advantage in future elections….
Bakery refusal to make cake for same-sex couple…
The Supreme Court on Monday passed up the chance to decide whether a baker’s religious objections to same-sex marriage means she can refuse to create a wedding cake for a gay couple despite state law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The case would have been a sequel to last year’s consideration of the same topic. The court ruled then for a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception, but it left undecided whether a business owner’s religious beliefs or free speech rights can justify refusing some services to gay people.
But after considering for months whether to accept the new case, the court sent it back to a lower court to review again.
The new case comes from Oregon, where Melissa and Aaron Klein closed their bakery, Sweetcakes by Melissa, after being fined $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake in 2013 for a lesbian couple….
A case that has ramification for Paul Manafort and maybe other’s in the Trump world…
The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed the long-established precedent that allows both state and federal authorities to prosecute a person for the same offense, a ruling that has implications for President Trump’s pardon powers.
The 7 to 2 ruling rejected arguments that allowing subsequent prosecutions violates the double jeopardy clause in the Bill of Rights, which prohibits more than one prosecution or punishment for the same offense.
Justice Samuel Alito Jr. wrote for the majority; Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil M. Gorsuch dissented.
Since the 1850s, the court has allowed an exception to the Constitution’s double-jeopardy prohibition on the theory that the federal and state governments are separate constitutional actors with their own sovereign authority….